Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah, bronze medal winner at the London Olympics Games, shoots down a target during a practice session at Losail Shooting Range, yesterday. Nasser (right) is training under the watchful eyes of coach Viktor Karasov. RIGHT: Nasser is all ears as he gets a few tips from coach Karasov. PICTURES BY: KAMMUTTY VP
by Armstrong Vas
Doha: The 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games may be some 972 days away, but that has not stopped short Qatar’s high-profile athlete Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah from kick starting his preparations for the multi-disciple event.
The 42-year-old Qatari, bronze medallist at the 2012 London Games, has began his preparations in right earnest at the Losail Shooting Range.
Yesterday, Nasser who has represented Qatar at five Olympic Games, was an ardent listener to whatever his Russian coach Viktor Karasov had to say during the training drills at the shooting range.
“I recently changed my gun and I am trying to get use to the new equipment. I am happy with the way with it (new gun) and the targets that I have been able to hit with the new gun. The progress has been good,” Nasser said while speaking to The Peninsula.
Nasser who has represented his country at five Olympic Games with a best finish of third at the 2012 Olympic Games in London is also a accomplished rally driver.
Being a two-sport athlete is a challenging logistical exercise and the Qatari sporting icon is planning to slow down on one sport to concentrate on the other as he remains focused on his ‘ultimate goal’ of winning the gold in the Brazilian capital.
“I will reduce the number of rally events I will be taking part next year. I will not be taking part in the world championship but will be in action in the Dakar Rally in January next year and also the Qatar International Rally in the same month and the Middle East Championship.”
Explaining the reasons for the same, he said: “I want to spend more time with my family and want to stay close to them. I also want to do more camps and concentrate on my goal. The goal, as I have said earlier, is to win gold at the next olympics in Brazil,” said Nasser.
For Nasser the next big event in shooting is in February when he will brush shoulders with some of the world’s top shooters in Doha.
“After the London Olympics I had taken a break from shooting. So the next championship is the Qatar Open, which will be held in February, then, I will be taking part in some more events in Cyprus, Italy and the world championship in Grenada Spain,” disclosed Nasser, winner of the 2006 Production World Rally Championship and the 2011 Dakar Rally.
Nasser, who added another feat to his credit by competing with the Qatar Motor Sport Federation team in the November Key West World Championships in Florida said he is eagerly waiting to take part in the next year’s power boat racing event.
“It was a nice experience. There is not much difference between racing on water and on road. I am planning to take part in next year’s event too. I plan to train for more days for next year’s event” he said. The Peninsula